My Child’s First Car Accident…

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My 18 year old has had his own car since April and since then has been dividing his time between me, his dad, his girlfriend, and work. While I know he would rather be with the hot girlfriend over his parents, he is VERY good about making sure he spends time with all of us.

He works full time and travels to different stores within 3 counties. The other day, for no reason, I was thinking: “If Nate was in a car accident, how would anyone know to tell me?” Especially if it was one of the stores far away.

That night, I saw his dad’s name pop up on my phone and my heart sank. We get along fine, but don’t make a habit of calling each other.  I listened to his voicemail, and the first words were: “Carrie, call me back as soon as you get this. Don’t worry, Nate’s ok, but there’s been an accident.”

I’m obviously psychic and the first thing I did was wish I had called Nate when I had that weird feeling and told him to make sure he drove safely. I know, though, he would have rolled his eyes and said, yes mom, of course, etc.

He was going through a green light in his little Nissan when out of nowhere a truck pulls left in front of him and (when it was all said and done) did $7,000 worth of damage to the car and it is now deemed totaled. The driver of the truck wanted to do a hasty exchange of info and leave. Nate was all, “OH HELL NAW you aren’t leaving, we’re calling the police.”IMG_1580.JPG

(Someone obviously never told this guy to keep his mouth closed at an accident scene because he was all over himself apologizing and actually said he was trying to speed up to turn…)

Nate was very shook up, and when I saw the pics of the car, I couldn’t believe he didn’t get one scratch on him. Nothing! The airbag deployed, but just barely caught him on the chin. I was so relieved he was ok! His car was a mess but he was alive.

The first thing he says: “Oh man, I have plans this weekend, how am I going to get there?”

Me: “Um, you’re alive. Be thankful!”

Nate: “Yeah, I’m alive, but I HAVE PLANS!”

Me: “But, but, honey, you could have DIED!”

Nate: “Yeah, but if I died, I wouldn’t be wondering how to GET anywhere!”

Touche, my son. Touche.

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I’m Leaving on a Train Car…

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I want to start off by saying I love my kids.

I do, I do, I do.

But they drive me CRAZY!!!!

I know I’m not alone in this. I’m pretty positive every single parent, at one time or another, has envisioned running away from home holding a plaid knapsack on a stick containing a few PB&J’s while whistling a merry tune as you find a nice train car to jump into and go far, far away.

Or do what I do and hide in a corner, suck on a thumb and rock myself.

I was a teacher. I took child psychology classes, learning development classes, I knew all the stages of anal, oral, and whatever else Freud liked to talk about, so you would think when my child is freaking out about something I would remember it was normal.

It’s so hard to remember that when they are screaming at the top of their high pitched lungs and telling you they hate you because their apple isn’t as red as their brothers.

(That was last night)

My oldest is 18 and is easy at this point, but he still has no idea how to clean up after himself. He can create mods on his computer games, and defeat any enemy he wants, but the concept of bringing dirty dishes to the sink escapes him.

My 5 year olds, well, they are another story. Every minute is full of wonder, such as: “I wonder who is going to have a meltdown next?”

The Terrible Twos and Threes are nothing compared to the Terrible Fives.  I find myself correcting more during the day than cuddling, and constantly trying to see into the future to know what may or may not cause a tantrum.

Eggshells. Lots and lots of eggshells.

One of the twins said they hated me last night because I wouldn’t give them a sucker with their dinner. I have never given them a sucker with dinner, but they decided it was to be, and when I nicely refused, it caused a serious row and I was flabbergasted. I’m often flabbergasted.

One of the twins has a broken arm and decided he wanted to wear long sleeved pajamas to bed. I said that wasn’t a good idea because a) the cast doesn’t fit into the arm easily, and b) it was 85 DEGREES.

Well, that made him more determined to prove that I was wrong and he proceeded to fit that cast into the sleeve one millimeter at a time. He was getting red faced and mad and kicking and screaming, and it took him 10 minutes to put on the shirt while I watched, defeated.

But he showed me.

They also like to lie, now, which is awesome. I will say: “No, we are not going to the McDonald’s play area, it’s 9PM!” and they will say: “You’re mean. You said I’m a stupid boy and you hate me!”

WHAT?? NO I DIDN’T! “Yes, you did, you said you don’t love me any more and that I’m just a stupid head.”

<facepalm>

I’m exhausted from all the work my brain has to do to deal with them sometimes. Yelling doesn’t do anything but make everyone more frenzied, but sometimes being calm makes them think their behavior is ok. Forcing them to say they’re sorry when they aren’t, or don’t even understand why they should be sorry, is difficult, as does knowing which battle to fight or give up on.

Every generation goes through this, and I think it’s because we aren’t given enough insight into what children go through in their little brains. They are testing the waters, seeing what they can do, not realizing they are slowly sending their parents into mental zombie land.

There should be a pamphlet that is sent to us on their birthdays so we know what we’re in for the next year. Things like: “Five year olds often have no clue what the heck they really want, and reverse psychology works amazingly well at this age. They will also think they need everything they see on every commercial, especially the “As Seen on TV” ones.” (Thanks, Snackeez)

I also think there should be hotlines for each year of age and when the kids start going nutso, we can call the 1-800-5yrolds for advice.

Operator: “Hello, this is the 5 year old hotline, how can I help you?”

Me: “Um, hi there, my 5 year old won’t come downstairs because I refuse to carry his blankie for him.”

Operator: “Do you have a plaid knapsack on a stick?”

Me: “Why, yes I do.”

Operator: “Fill it up with sandwiches and find yourself a train car.”

 

Bird Mocking – You Know You’ve Done It…

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There was one day last week (just one) where I could actually open my windows without dying of Ohio humidity induced sweat-death. It’s so nice to have fresh air. As I was standing in my kitchen, breathing in the scent of, well, air, I heard a bird whistle.

“Dee, doo.”

Without thinking, I whistled back: “Dee doo.”

Silence.

Then a quieter “Dee, doo?”  (I swear I heard the question mark at the end.)

So I thought I would try to converse and gave back a “Dee, doo!” As in, “YES, I was whistling at you!”

Silence.

Then a pissed off sounding: “Dee, doo, doo, dee, doo!”

Well! I never! I gave it right back to him, adding an extra “DOO!” at the end.

Next thing you know we’re engaged in a birdcry whistle battle fight. This went on for a good 5 minutes, getting more and more heated as the whistling went on.

The bird got closer and closer to the house as we were fighting, then suddenly it ended with Mr. Bird yelling a final authoritative: “DEE. DOO!”

I’m not sure what we were talking about, but either he was going to send his minions after me, or we’re going out for drinks later.

The strangest thing about all of this, was a day or two after my bird fight, I noticed a new resident on my front porch…I think it’s a sentry to keep me in line. Unfortunately, it won’t stick around to chit chat…probably because the kids named it “Dolly Bear”…so embarrassing.

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Try to Argue with 4 Year Old Logic…

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My 4 year old twins are hysterical. The stuff they come up with makes me laugh so hard, it hurts. One reason I became a teacher for the elementary grades is because the younger students are (mostly) innocent and look at the world from a different perspective. The way they try to make sense of things is so beautiful and they often have a logic that would make Mr. Spock (R.I.P.!) crack a smile.

Last night, the kids went to bed a little late. The husband and I were pretty tired and just ready for them to sleep. Andy has a cold and REFUSES to use tissues (gag) and his eyeballs were the size of basketballs. He NEEDED to sleep. We told them they needed to be quiet. No talking. Just go to sleep.

We weren’t downstairs for more than 3.5 minutes when we heard thumping, and giggling, and loud talking. The Twinion Conspirators are at it again.

“Wuke, I am you fodder!”

“Noooooooo, don’t cut my hand off, fodder! AHHHHHHH!”

“I have to! It was in da movie.”

“Nooooooooooo!”

I race upstairs, and open the door. They do that thing that must be instinctual for little kids where they flop down on the bed and instantly play dead, like I didn’t see them just jumping around like loons.

“Boys, didn’t we say you needed to be quiet? Tyler, Andy is sick, he needs rest. You are so loud, we can’t even hear the TV!”

Andy won’t stop giggling, probably from the Zyrtec and Nighttime Dr. Cocoa medicine combo.

Tyler looks at me, dead serious: “Mommy, you said we couldn’t talk, but our toys need to, so that’s why we’re talking so wowd. They need to play, not us!”

I’m dumbfounded and impressed. He was right, we didn’t say the toys couldn’t talk.

“Um, ok, well can Luke and Darth Vader keep it down?”

More Andy giggles.

Tyler sighs a deep, why-do-I-put-up-with-her? sigh and says: “We will try, my princess mommy. Dark Vader IS evil you know, and wikes to get us in trouble.”

I wish I were a celebrity so camera crews could follow these two around and capture all of these moments. Then I would make a documentary and show it to every girlfriend.

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I Gave Birth to a Sensitive Skeleton-Loving Scientist

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So I am the lucky mom of 3 boys, a ginger, a blonde, and a “might be dark-blonde-might be brown” brunette. All three are left-handed.

I am right-handed, and completely useless when it comes to teaching them how to write, eat, draw, throw, and generally anything that involves the left side. Luckily, my husband is left-handed, so when they go to Kindergarten, he can do all their homework with them.

HAHAHAHA

So out of my three boys, Tyler, the younger twin, is probably going to be a scientist, engineer, doctor, or Destroyer of the Universe. I’m ok with any of those scenarios.

I was a teacher for many years, and between teaching in the classroom and music lessons, I’ve had students from ages 3 to 55, and I’m not sure I’ve ever met a young one more interested in how things work. He LOVES to take things apart, put them back together, take them apart, put them back together, ad nauseum.

He’s like my husband in this respect, except (as far as I know) my husband doesn’t fall to the floor wailing, screaming, and kicking if he can’t figure out how to put a lid back on, or is unable to squeeze a 9 inch Batman toy into a 3 inch helicopter cockpit.

The anger. Ohhhh, the anger.

When he was little, he used to bang his head on the floor repeatedly when something didn’t go his way. It would be scary to see for any child, but he has hemophilia, and the lumps he would cause himself to get would make him look like a rhino. It’s really hard to convince people that your two-year old did that to himself, and you’re not an abusive monster.

On top of that, it looked like I beat him and not his twin. I probably should have put prosthetic horns on the other so they would match. They ARE twins, after all.

As serious as this child is, he has the sweetest smile, and at almost 5 years old just made it to 30 pounds. His nickname is “Teeny Tiny Tyler” which he thinks is funny. He was tiny when he was born and the NICU nurses ironically nicknamed him “Mr. T” which has been his usual name ever since.

He looks up to his “older” twin at the same time he tortures him. Andy has taken to writing Tyler’s name on a “bad list” whenever he gets mad, and Tyler sobs uncontrollably when this happens. He won’t believe me that Andy actually has no power over lists, but there it is.

He is amazing in so many ways. His giggle could make Ebenezer Scrooge crack a smile. His excitement for simple things from a sip of strawberry milk, or an oatmeal pie is contagious. When he’s sick, he doesn’t complain, he just thanks us for taking care of him then orders us out of the room so he can sleep.

He bruises easily and they can become quite ugly, but he doesn’t complain about pain. His brother, Andy, on the other hand, needs a band-aid for everything (one time for a paint stain he insisted was blood). He is a rule follower, likes things to be a certain way, and knows instantly if I took a different road to our destination.

His arms and legs flail when he runs, and it’s amazing he has any balance whatsoever. He loves watching Goosebumps, ParaNorman, and other “scary” shows, and absolutely loves to play with his dad’s Halloween decorations. So much that even in March we have a plastic witch, pumpkin, and a skeleton toy that’s as big as he is that he carries around and takes to bed with him.

Right now he is moping around the house because he broke the arm of his “skellington”…my husband is sad too seeing as how he’s had that thing for about 25 years.

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I want to hold and hug and protect this little tiny thing all the time, but he’s way too macho for those kind of shenanigans. He does tell me I’m the “best girl ever”, so that’s definitely enough for me.

I’m lucky to have the crazy kids I do, even though they drive me nuts.

Face it, they are a product of their environment, and I might just be certifiable.

I Gave Birth to a Clown…

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Not the disturbing “IT” clown, or the creepy “Poltergeist” puppet clown that have both individually scarred me for life, but a regular old, fun-loving actual clown. A 4.5 year old clown with no way of controlling his random spaz movements, or about 99.999% of what comes out of his mouth.

And I love it.

Our twins are definitely representative of my husband and I. Andy is loud, a ham, thrives on attention and making people laugh, is creative, quirky, and breaks almost everything he touches.

Like me.

Tyler, on the other hand, is a serious little monkey. He needs to know how everything works, and likes to pull things apart, then put them back together, then pull them apart, then put them back together, ad nauseam. He is quietly funny, likes to be alone in a room of people, and likes to imagine.

Like my husband.

Of course when either one of them is acting like a jerkhead, we like to say the child got that from the other parent. Who doesn’t do that?

So, the clown, my Ando Bonando:Andy the Clown

He likes to break into random dancing like Elaine on Seinfeld, and there’s nothing he won’t dance to. He does the “worm” standing up, then falls onto the floor, does a handstandand just stays like that for a few minutes. I call it Abstract Breakdancing. He bursts into Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive” while banging on the piano, and loves the beginning of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”.  He likes to talk to adults, and he says the most awesome things.

Today, he was talking about his teacher, Ms. Stacey.

Andy: I think Ms. Stacey is engaged. ( I didn’t think he knew that word)

Me: No, she’s married, honey.

Andy: (eyes wide) To the MUFFIN MAN????

Me: (likes to go with it) The one on Drury Lane?

Andy: Well, there is only one muffin man, mom

’tis true, I know of no other muffin man.

He’s also very blunt, crude, and kinda gross.

We were at the McDonald’s play area the other day, and he and Tyler were playing with a little girl they just met. (They call girls “girdle”)

Andy says LOUDLY:

“I smell farts. I can taste them in my mouth! Hey, girdle, are you farting???”

I died for a minute.

He is in love with “Shrek the Musical” and screams at anyone that will look at him: “WHAT ARE YOU DOIN’ IN MY SWAMP?!”

He wants toys and costumes that don’t exist and if he had his way, he’d be wearing a Doctor Doom costume and carrying around a 4 foot Buzz Lightyear toy that will clean his room for him.

I hope he’s always this carefree, although not too much in school.

I don’t want to have a permanent chair in the principal’s office.

Feel the Power of the Elf on the Shelf!

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I did something kinda bad last night.

I made my kids cry, and deep inside, where my cockles are, it gave me a HUGE happy.

They were being ROTTEN, and I WANTED them to cry.

(Ok, in their defense, I didn’t try to redirect them, or pay attention to them, or feed them, but STILL, acting like the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is no bueno.)

So, the Elf on the Shelf, named Shredder, has a lot of power in my house. At least for a minute or two. Telling the kids that Shredder is going to tell on them helps keep them in check for about 56.8 seconds.

We ONLY move the Elf at night after the kids go to bed, on days they are being punkasses bad listeners. THAT way, they know they need to try harder.

Last night, I was on my last nerve, and that was even my last reserve nerve, of which I had about 5,000 stored up in my nerve reserve holder. I was about to lose my mind. I was trying to wrap presents, and they had to wrestle RIGHT THERE.

I was trying to eat dinner and they were wrestling RIGHT THERE.

I was trying to Pee, for crying out loud, and they were wrestling RIGHT THERE!!!

So, when they weren’t looking, I grabbed the Elf off the shelf and hid it in my underwear drawer, ’cause that’s how I roll.

I walked into the family room and said loudly: “Oh, NO. THAT’s NOT GOOD!”

The kids came running, and I pointed to the empty space on the shelf.

I said: “Oh, Wow, guys, Shredder was so irritated that he left WHILE YOU WERE STILL AWAKE to tell SANTA you’ve been bad!”

Instant wailing.

Like at an Italian funeral. ( I can say that, as those are my people).

“I DON’T WANT SANTA TO BE MAD!” one wails.

“I’M NOT GONNA GET ANY PRESENTS!” the other wails.

They were so loud, I shut the pocket doors to the family room, and sat in the living room with my equally irritated husband and we giggled.

Hard.

The Elf has power. Not like Grayskull power, but that little creepy thing is a wielder of something helpful here and there.

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